Aston Villa vs Everton

Thursday, 22 August, 2019 112comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

Lucas Digne has been passed fit for the Friday night game against Villa in front of the Sky cameras

Everton travel to Aston Villa tomorrow night for English football's most-played fixure with top spot in the Premier league beckoning, if only for a few hours.

The Blues will take on the newly-promoted Villains in the Friday night televised game looking to extend their excellent defensive form and add to the three points they picked up against Watford last Saturday.

Marco Silva's side come into the game as the only top-flight team not to have conceded a goal in the first two matches of the new season, evidence that Yerry Mina has picked up where Kurt Zouma left off last term alongside Michael Keane.

And Silva has been buoyed by the news that both Lucas Digne and Leighton Baines have been passed fit for tomorrow evening. The Frenchman was withdrawn from Saturday's 1-0 win over Watford as a precautionary measure after he felt his hamstring but has suffered no reaction in the days since.

Baines, meanwhile, has recovered from an unspecified injury of his own that he picked up during pre-season and is available for the first time.

In addition, Silva has Morgan Schneiderlin at his disposal again after the French midfielder served a one-match suspension for picking up two yellow cards at Crystal Palace on the opening day. The Portuguese now needs to decide whether to restore Schneiderlin to the starting 11 or whether to continue with new signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin and in the middle alongside Andre Gomes.

“He will be available for the match,” Silva confirmed when asked during his press conference about Digne's availability. “Leighton will be also. It's just Fabian now who has a problem. It's possible [he will be] ready next week.

“He's already sessions with the team, not full sessions, but he has started with the team. It's possible next we will do full sessions with him and it will be a possibility for him to play a full match next week.”

While there is anticipation over whether or not Moise Kean will be selected to lead the line ahead of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Silva effectively ruled out a full debut for another of his new signings, Alex Iwobi. The Nigerian began his preparations for the new season late after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations and he is not deemed to be fully fit by Silva and his staff.

“For sure he is looking forward [to playing]. We are all looking forward to that but we know he started really late. It's only his second week working with the team. He didn't do pre-season so, if we can, we have to be careful with the situation, to give him enough time to get fitter.

“Of course, during the game is able to help us but not over the 90 minutes. But he's getting better and if I decide [to play him], he will be ready to give his high quality to us, I don't have doubts about that.”

Silva could go for continuity in his starting XI and keep his team unchanged as could Dean Smith. Kortney Hause is fit for the Midlanders but Jonathan Kodjia and James Chester are ruled out. Marvelous Nakamba, Frederic Guilbert and Matt Targett have all yet to make their debuts.

Villa lost 3-1 at Tottenham on the opening day and were beaten 2-1 at home to Bournemouth last weekend but Smith feels that his men are "creating chances, we just need to start taking them."

In contrast to Palace and, to a certain extent Watford, Villa are likely to be fairly expansive going forward and while that may threaten Everton's clean sheets record so far, it will hopefully also open up opportunities for the Toffees to hit them on the counter-attack.

Silva appears to want to bring Kean into the fold on a gradual basis but the Italian's cameo against Watford demonstrated that he is both physically and mentally ready for the English game. Calvert-Lewin is expected to start but it wouldn't be all that surprising to see Kean's name in the starting XI either, although that might be delayed until after the international break.

Kick off: 8pm, Friday 23 August, 2019
Referee: Michael Oliver
Last Time: Aston Villa 1 - 3 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne, Gomes, Gbamin, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin  

Reader Comments (112)

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Liam Reilly
1 Posted 22/08/2019 at 17:13:14
Great news.

Villa are vulnerable at the moment and an early goal would severely dent their confidence.

Top of the pile at 10 pm tomorrow night...

Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 22/08/2019 at 17:15:00
Excellent news on our left backs!

No surprise that Iwobi is not yet fit – he had a long hard summer – and dear lord do I hope that Gbamin has replaced Mr Stupid Red in the starting 11 permanently.

Derek Knox
3 Posted 22/08/2019 at 17:34:30
Agree, good news on both fronts, wish it was accompanied by the midfield Gomes and Delph situations. Or even better Schneiderlin confirmed as Left Back... in Liverpool, for tomorrow's away trip to Villa. :-)
Duncan McDine
4 Posted 22/08/2019 at 18:00:46
That's a real headache for Mr Silva regarding the decision to play Morgan Schneiderlin... that decision could take up to a few tenths of a second.
Ciarán McGlone
5 Posted 22/08/2019 at 18:10:44
Fair enough that Iwobi hasn't had full pre-season training... but he was actually training and playing football... when did he actually get unfit?

Always something that's made me scratch my head.

Jay Harris
6 Posted 22/08/2019 at 18:40:24
Dont be surprised to see Schneiderlin AND Gbamin in midfield tomorrow. Villa are quite strong in midfield with Grealish and Ginn and we will need to be on our toes to get a result here.

Don't be fooled by Villa's first two results. I watched both games and they were unlucky not to get a point with Spurs and they dominated the Bournemouth game after conceding two early goals.

If we bring our A Game and Kean can show us what all the fuss is about, we could and should get the 3 points (hopefully) but this will be a tough game.

My worry is Richarlison who seems to have come back tired and lackadaisical so don't be surprised to see Theo out there either.

And just to rub salt in the wounds of the booboys, I fancy Sigurdsson to get off the mark in this game.

Rob Halligan
7 Posted 22/08/2019 at 18:41:49
Difficult decision regarding a starting eleven for Silva tomorrow. Or is it? I would be tempted to go with the same starting eleven as last week.

Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne.
Gomes, Gbamin.
Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard.

I'm prepared to give DCL at least one more chance. The lad's a 100% trier but he needs to stay more in the middle of the pitch rather than straying out wide. We have good overlapping full-backs who can get down the line and put crosses in to the area where he should be. Silva isn't going to go 4-4-2, so if DCL hasn't produced by the 45 or 60 minutes mark, then take him off and put Kean on.

2-0 tomorrow. Calvert-Lewin (yep) and Richarlison. COYB.

Mike Gwyer
8 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:00:11


It's probably a given that DCL starts. We have just signed the best young striker in Europe and there is no way Kean will be rushed, absolutely no way. This boy will be looked after and let loose as and when Silva decides... but a full 90 minutes is not happening just yet.

Think you will find that Morgan will start as well. Silva likes him... so that's that. Morgan will do the holding job, which hopefully gives Gomes a free hand to wreak havoc...

Bill Gienapp
10 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:16:45
I could see Schneiderlin restored to the starting XI if Silva decides Gbamin isn't quite up to speed yet. He's also bent over backwards to defuse any talk of Kean starting anytime soon, so the anti-DCL brigade will just have to continue to seethe.

I'm usually pretty optimistic, but I feel like this one has 1-1 written all over it. Villa gave Spurs quite a battle.

Fran Mitchell
11 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:25:42
Maybe Richarlison on the bench? Both Iwobi and Kean can play in his position, as well as Walcott (who, like it or not, is still in the manager's plans).

He's been off the pace and considering his lack of pre-season, maybe needs to be benched?

I feel however it will be unchanged from last week. Silva was happy with the first 30 minutes, and probably thinks he can get them to play like that for 60 this time?

Villa aren't to be written off, many a good player in their ranks, but signing so many players is never a good tactic for a promoted team. Don't know what got into them.

Rob Halligan
12 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:33:28
Don't know where to put this so I'll put it on here, and I know Lyndon and Michael aren't keen on cricket being discussed, but Australia, after a rain affected day, have been bowled out for 179 on the first day of the third ashes test. Archer taking 6 / 45!!
Ciarán McGlone
13 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:42:50
That's pretty random, Rob.
John Keating
14 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:50:26
We need to keep the momentum going and make use of this start.

I would start with the same team as the Watford game but urge Silva to use his subs asap if anyone is not showing his best.

Really interested to see John McGinn in action. I've been a big fan of his since he went to Hibs and really disappointed we didn't show any interest in him when his move to Celtic went belly up.

Clive Rogers
15 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:56:13
I can see Richarlison being on the bench after a poor performance last week and I think Kean will start up front. Gbamin should retain his place.

Go for three points, Marco.

Jim Bennings
16 Posted 22/08/2019 at 20:07:22
It's been said before many a time over the last few years but we seriously need to start upping the win ratio on our away form.

We can never mount a top-six challenge anymore because our away form dismally lets down the good solid home record.

The fact that Everton have not won more than five, yes 5 from 19, away games in a single season since 2013-14 under Bobby Brown Shoes, pretty much says it all.

We ought to be going away to the likes of Palace, Villa, Bournemouth, Burnley, and picking up at least 9 points.

Last season was the same, we lost at Newcastle, Southampton, Brighton, Fulham, Watford — it's not good enough.

Tomorrow will be a tricky game but if we apply ourselves correctly and win will make a statement of intent of what we can do this season.

I'll be disappointed if we don't win because already yet again that will be two very winnable away trips passed up.

Duncan McDine
17 Posted 22/08/2019 at 20:07:27
Ciaràn – that was funny! I remember the days when your posts would be at least 5,000 words long... I prefer the new slimlined Mr McGlone.
Trevor Peers
18 Posted 22/08/2019 at 20:18:17
If we play the predicted team, we will struggle to score goals unless we strike early, as we did against Watford. Then we will be waiting for the 60-70 minute substitutions to make an impact.

A draw would seem the most likely result as Villa have yet to win a point and will be fighting for their lives. Kean in from the start would give us a better chance of the win.

David Pearl
19 Posted 22/08/2019 at 20:18:30
Rob @12,

You shouldn't be discussing cricket on here, deffo not. And nothing about the ToffeeWeb Golf Day at Frodsham on 20th September before the Sheff Utd game either please. At 11:30. I mean 18 holes, a breakfast and a buggy. You're having a laugh!

Pat Kelly
20 Posted 22/08/2019 at 20:34:49
There's no goals in that predicted line-up.
John Pierce
21 Posted 22/08/2019 at 20:46:00
The is first game this season a team will not be cowed or sit deep against us. Newly promoted, yes, whole new team, yes. They are open and will have a go. I expect this game to suit us, and ignite the counter-attacking players in the side.

A comfortable win, 2-0, perhaps 3-0.

As long as Silva picks an attacking side and isn't conservative, ie, picks Schniederlin, then it should be our night.

Brian Harrison
22 Posted 22/08/2019 at 20:47:20
What a lift it will be if we can win and go top tomorrow night. But the team that started the first 2 games seems to lack goals.

Villa will be well up for this game having lost their first 2 games, so we need to be positive from Minute 1. Don't let them get any momentum early on and be clinical in front of goal.

I see we have a chance of breaking an Everton record that has stood for over 100 years: we have never kept 3 clean sheets in the opening 3 games of any season.

Clive Rogers
23 Posted 22/08/2019 at 21:00:16
As posters have stated, goals are the worry. We know Calvert-Lewin is unlikely to score, and to rely on Richarlison and Sigurdsson doesn't look a good bet at present.

Richarlison had a shocker last week, while Sigurdsson looks a little off the pace and Bernard has got his one for the season via a deflection. This is why Kean must play.

David Pearl
24 Posted 22/08/2019 at 21:04:08
Hmm... l wonder when the last time was that we lost with Schneiderlin in the side? Must be every time... Must be.
Eric Paul
25 Posted 22/08/2019 at 21:04:13
I'm with John Pierce.
Mike Gaynes
26 Posted 22/08/2019 at 21:08:41
Rob #12, wow, those are some stunning numbers.

Of course I haven't the slightest idea what they mean.

Hugh Jenkins
28 Posted 22/08/2019 at 21:22:55
Brian (22),

Quite right – it is about time we started breaking the right kind of records, starting with that one.

For too long, we have been the team that other people break records against – eg, player hasn't scored in three seasons, get's one against us; player making his debut for a club, scores against us, etc.

Someone on another site has mentioned that Grealish has not been on the winning side in any of his previous 20 Premier League outings.

In the past, that is exactly the kind of statistic that would haunt us as you could virtually guarantee that he would break his duck against us.

So – not any longer please!!

Let's break that 100-year record and score a few into the bargain.

Jim Bennings
29 Posted 22/08/2019 at 21:28:45
Hopefully Richarlison shows up tomorrow night and takes the bull by the bollox because last week he looked half-arsed.

It's high time now that he starts making match-winning performances. If he wants to be an elite player then he needs to take on the role of being our own version of say Mo Salah, even though I'm loathe to say it.

Trudging through too many games shrugging his shoulders and wearing his Ademola Lookman style sulk mask just won't cut it for a 㿙 million pound Brazilian international.

Yes he scored a good tally last season but his overall performances need to be more pivotal for us.

Pat Kelly
30 Posted 22/08/2019 at 21:47:13
Jim, I don't know about taking the bull by the bollox but I understand that, in training, Silva gave all the forwards a banjo and let them loose on a herd of cows. No animals were harmed in the process.
Frank Sheppard
31 Posted 22/08/2019 at 21:57:52
We need to improve on our away points total, and tomorrow represents an excellent opportunity to do so.


Phil Bellis
32 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:01:30
Pat... Banjos wrecked... Cows unperturbed
Derek Knox
33 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:08:34
Pat K, they must have been too highly strung, we want real Deliverance at Villa tomorrow. :-)
Jamie Crowley
34 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:11:15
Why am I feeling negative?

This is exactly the kind of game we all expect to win. This is exactly the kind of game we draw or lose. Poised to go top of the table, if even for just 1/2 a day. This game is exactly what separates us from dizzying heights.

Fulham last Spring, anyone?

Overconfident Everton, playing a newly promoted team who hasn't won yet, seems perfect for them we're traveling to their place, prepared to shit the bed.

Were I a betting man, and I certifiably am not when it comes to any sporting event (prefer poker), I'd not wager a single cent on this one.

Hope I'm wrong.

Tom Bowers
35 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:11:48
Another game to tread warily. Everton still a work in progress and the offence still not sorted out, which can be detrimental to the progress of the team. Villa no pushovers and, for that matter, any team. Grealish, their playmaker – he needs to be kept quiet if we are to win this one.

An early goal would be a bonus as the defence seems to be doing well at the moment and the Villa offence is not as good as Watford or Palace. However, discipline is the key to controlling the game.

Steve Ferns
36 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:12:53
Depending on how pissed off Silva was with Schneiderlin, and he looked very angry with him, I would expect Schneiderlin to start. Gbamin will take his place eventually, but Silva will see Morgan as the safer option helping to secure that back four. The rest of the side as Lyndon puts it. I expect Iwobi and Kean to come off the bench for the last 15-25 minutes.

If we are going to have a good season, then we have to win this game, and I have every confidence we can. I think we'll edge a close game 2-1 with Kean getting a late winner. I fancy Dom for the first, and I wouldn't rule out a McGinn screamer against the run of play. We need to be careful about being counter attacked, and that's why I expect Schneiderlin to play.

Philip Bunting
37 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:16:25
Interesting to see Shane Lavery excelling with Linfield in the irish league. Scoring and getting MotM nominations practically every game. Ran himself into the ground tonight and scored another 2. May only be Irish League but he could end up in the Europa League if the Blues can get a draw in the second leg.
David Pearl
38 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:20:50

As I've mentioned before, we don't concede many or lose many with Schneiderlin in the side. He covers his position well and gives us a strong base to attack from (that's offence). His passing can be a bit safe for some, me included, but he has the legs on Gbamin at the moment.

For once, l think we win this well. 3-0... (just don't quote me on that).

Andy Crooks
39 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:30:44
Top stuff, Philip.
Jamie Crowley
40 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:32:13
Steve @ 36 -

I've no problem with Schneiderlin starting.

If he picks up a yellow, I'd pull him immediately. I don't care if it's in the 3rd minute of the game.

He's not been near as poor the last year or so, as he was under Big Sam. He's a steady man in front of the back four, and allows Gomes (a.k.a. "handsome") to roam a bit.

But if he looks out of control, Gbamin has to come in.

Ed Fitzgerald
41 Posted 22/08/2019 at 23:12:07
Please start with Gbamin – he is far more mobile than Schneiderlin. I hope both Kean and Calvert-Lewin start but it's likely to be a cautious line-up, I suspect.

Phil @ 37 – I just watched Lavery's goals in the Europa League, that second goal was a belter!

However, you did not mention the Panenka penalty scored by ex-Everton legend, Magaye Gueye, which was equally as good as Lavery's second in its own right for audacity alone.

Ryan Holroyd
42 Posted 22/08/2019 at 23:15:24
I'd like to ask the Calvert-Lewin knockers, which chance he has had that he should have finished?

You can't because we don't create chances. Our alleged Number 10 creates zilch from open play. Iwobi is desperately needed.

Frank Thomas
43 Posted 22/08/2019 at 23:25:36
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Gbamin (Schneiderlin 80') Gomes
Richarlison Sigurdsson (Iwobi 75') Bernard
Calvert-Lewin (Kean 65')

Sigurdsson has not played great so far and he must feel his position is the only one that cannot be challenged but I think, with Bernard in the centre, he could also supply the other forwards with some great chances.

Jamie Morgan
44 Posted 22/08/2019 at 23:36:03
As a Midlands based Blue, I hate The Vile (yes that's not a typo). Put them in their place, please, tomorrow boys, and we go top overnight!

Can't see anything other than the same team (he may drop Richarlison for Walcott until the 2nd half). I trust Silva to man-manage him just fine.

Clive Rogers
45 Posted 23/08/2019 at 00:05:00
Ryan @42, Richarlison had two good chances and Kean two when he came on.

Calvert-Lewin's problem is he never gets on the end of them. He has not scored in his last 13 games.

Jay Harris
46 Posted 23/08/2019 at 00:16:23
Interesting that Silva thought it would be a very open game... which suggests he is going for it.
Si Smith
47 Posted 23/08/2019 at 00:53:28
Gbamin should start for me, he has done a job whist not being 100% fit, he has been fast-tracked and we haven't lost so let's keep fast-tracking him.

3 points away to Villa is a must, let's see what it feels like to sit top of the tree, even if it is just for a night.

Derek Knox
48 Posted 23/08/2019 at 01:35:13
Si, totally agree regards keeping Gbamin and, as you say, he has been played probably earlier than anticipated due to the injury to Gomes, but the lad has shown that, apart from a couple of mistakes, he is learning and improving each game. Besides that, unless injuries dictate otherwise, it is best to stick with the same players.

I don't think Villa will be an easy game, as someone commented before that they have not played badly up to now, but possibly not had the luck. I am hoping for a win as usual, but feel we may have to up our game to get 3 points.

Si Cooper
49 Posted 23/08/2019 at 01:40:17
This almost feels like the real start of the season as Watford and Palace were real threats if we weren't on our mettle.

Villa, however, have to be the clear underdogs for tonight and, if we are going to have a good season, we need to start winning the games we should relatively comfortably at an early point in the season.

A first chance to scrutinise the game properly for me this season as well. I'm hoping we all really like what we see.

Jack Convery
50 Posted 23/08/2019 at 03:31:15
If the project is on course, we should win this game. Shut Grealish up and you shut Villa up. 2-1 for EFC. Calvert-Lewin and Gomes – controversial!
Jack Convery
51 Posted 23/08/2019 at 03:33:10
If we do go top, I hope you all have your hankies ready for nosebleed time.
Kieran Kinsella
52 Posted 23/08/2019 at 04:35:01
Villa away brings back two memories: Osman's worldly in the 3-1 win, and Cottee's “job done” attitude as relayed by Sharp after the 2-6 defeat.

I think they erred this summer by bringing in too many new faces at once. I hope we squeak out a 1-0 win as we aren't quite firing on all cylinders yet.

Annika Herbert
53 Posted 23/08/2019 at 05:17:34
Clive @45, both of the chances for Richarlison were from free-kicks, not open play.
Kim Vivian
54 Posted 23/08/2019 at 07:15:53
If we 'squeak out a 1-0 win' as Kieran says, that will do me but I would really like to see an emphatic performance reflected in at least 2, or 3 goals to the good, and hopefully another clean sheet.

I shall predict 2-0 again this evening but, as I say, it's time to start dominating these matches – we're doing too much squeaking out.

Sam Hoare
55 Posted 23/08/2019 at 07:23:23
Villa are considerably better offensively than Palace and Watford and this will be a real test of our defense.

I expect we will miss Gueye in this game and expect to see Grealish lead some ball carrying counters through the middle. Remember the fabulous chance Deeney had? That was Capoue picking Richarlison's poor pass up on the edge of his area, skinning Gomes with ease and running at our exposed defense. Deeney should have scored. That is why I'd not be surprised to see Schneiderlin play, to offer more protection against their counter-attacks.

I think we might see a few more goals tonight and I hope we can score first. Their right-hand side is very vulnerable defensively so expect Bernard and Digne to have some joy. Fingers crossed Sigurdsson can get into the game more as offensively we have looked extremely limited since last season.

3 points would be lovely and yet I've got a feeling 2-2 might be the result.

Daniel A Johnson
56 Posted 23/08/2019 at 07:26:45
I honestly don't know what to make of this fixture.

Heart says a solid 2-0 win for us but my head says 0-0.

Ciarán McGlone
57 Posted 23/08/2019 at 07:36:46
I think some people on this thread have thoroughly underestimated Villa. They play a fast counter-attacking game and were extremely impressive in their game against Spurs.

If we are as sloppy as we were last week, they will win. It as as simple as that. We are three games into the season now. The unforced mistakes need to stop. We are better on paper, but we are playing way below our potential. Despite being a promoted team, I think this is the biggest test of our centre-halves so far.

Looking forward to a Friday night game.

Richard Cusworth
58 Posted 23/08/2019 at 08:16:16
Personally I am nervous about this game and purely to an extent on the stats. Very few teams go three games into a season without conceding... And very few lose all opening 3 games, Villa will be well up for this...

And as this talk of our fantastic defensive record...much improved yes... But some fortune in there too - Dangerous talk. Let's see how good we are...

If we come out meaning business to dominate and add that clinical touch then we win the game Anything less and there is no scraping the win in this one. My gut feeling is we will need 3 goals to win this...

I personally don't feel we are quite there yet to confidently expect us to win any away game in the Premier League yet. Should we and can we... Then yes. Is it ever a given... No. 2-2 is where I think it's at tonight. Will be delighted to be proved wrong.

Charles Brewer
59 Posted 23/08/2019 at 08:22:27
I've forgotten. Is the the alternate game we score in or the one where we don't? So far, we are on course for 19 goals this season.
Ray Roche
60 Posted 23/08/2019 at 08:25:05
Yes Charles, and conceding none.
Dan Nulty
61 Posted 23/08/2019 at 08:28:59
What has happened in the previous two games means nothing. Relax. Looking at the squads, I'd rather have ours, so am confident for tonight!


Kim Vivian
62 Posted 23/08/2019 at 08:30:27
Without wishing to put the kibosh on it – I've only just realised but we are the only team in the top two divisions not to have conceded a goal yet this season. Hoping for that to continue tonight. 2-0 please.
Martin Berry
63 Posted 23/08/2019 at 08:43:46
I think the rust will have gone tonight and I think we are going to put on a great performance and have a resounding win.

It's hard to believe that, from last time we player Villa in 2016, only Seamus Coleman is still in the first eleven; it just shows what amazing changes AND progress has been made at the club.

Martin Mason
64 Posted 23/08/2019 at 08:54:23
I think this is a level up in difficulty compared with Palace and Watford and a draw would be a good result at this stage, a win would be amazing.
Eddie Dunn
65 Posted 23/08/2019 at 08:58:13
Time for us to send out a message to the Sky darlings, the flag-wavers and glory-hunters. They won't like little Everton going top of their private vanity project so let's hammer Villa and top the table.
Derek Knox
66 Posted 23/08/2019 at 09:02:44
Someone earlier in the thread suggested that Villa have done a 'similar' to Fulham, in that they have bought and brought in too many new faces in one go, they were the biggest spenders in the Transfer Window.

I agree with that, but must hasten to add, they appear, from what I have seen of them thus far (against Bournemouth and Spurs) to have a better quality of imports that Fulham did.

As with any side, new players don't always gel straight away, that is the hopeful side of my thinking for tonight, but believe they are not to be taken too lightly all the same.

I still think overall we played better against Palace with superior domination than we did against Watford, although the goal and some luck with Watford's failure to convert proved the 3 points, but we must lift our game tonight against Villa.

Andrew Clare
67 Posted 23/08/2019 at 09:13:56
I would just like to see us dominate the game. Our play often seems to be quite frantic as no-one seems to be able to put their foot on the ball and slow the play down. Gomes did this a few times towards the end of last season but he is the exception as all of our other players are in the team to play the fast high-intensity game which by its nature will lead to misplaced passes and loss of possession. Yes, it works well when we are on our game but how often is that?

Today will be tricky as Villa will have a big crowd behind them and be looking to get some points on the board. We definitely have the personnel to win this one so hopefully our boys will be well prepared. I would love to see Calvert-Lewin and Kean upfront together as a combo. COYBs

Sam Hoare
68 Posted 23/08/2019 at 09:28:05
Derek, I think Villa have bought far better than Fulham. I'd be very surprised if they don't stay up and I'm worried their resurgence might start tonight. We have zero right to expect a win tonight and will have to fight hard and play better than we have so far to get it. 3 points here would be an excellent result.
Dave Williams
69 Posted 23/08/2019 at 09:36:07
There should be a few goals in this one. Quite simply if we play well we will win; if we are second-best in possession, we may well lose... so Marco has to have the boys on it from the start.

I too would play Schneiderlin – away from home, his experience will give us more solidity – and I'd give Sigurdsson another chance to regain his form.

Didn't he get married in the summer? I think Morgan did in the close season before his dramatic loss of form and I recall Catterick saying that marriage tended to cause players to lose form for a while? Regardless, once Iwobi is fit, he must start and if Bernard continues to play well, it should be Sigurdsson's place at stake.

I'd keep Kean on the bench and if we need a goal I'd love to see him play alongside Dom – he would create space for Kean with his work rate.

David Pearl
70 Posted 23/08/2019 at 09:37:07

We have to fight for points against every team but we have much the better squad and should win. Time will tell if Villa bought well.

Oh, love the new 3rd kit.

Anthony A Hughes
71 Posted 23/08/2019 at 09:45:58
If we have any aspirations of top 6, then this must be 3 points. We are less likely to get many points away to the so-called big boys so games like this against lower mid-table teams must be won.
Tony Shelby
72 Posted 23/08/2019 at 10:02:31
We need to twat them. Full stop.
Sam Hoare
73 Posted 23/08/2019 at 10:10:43
David@70, I'm not sure we do have the ‘much' better squad. They've got a few players who would potentially add to our first team and bench.

I'm not sure many teams in this league have ‘much' better squads than others bar Man City and RS which is why it's so wonderfully unpredictable. Villa gave Spurs and really good game. Tonight could go any way in my opinion but hopefully we prevail!

Martin Mason
74 Posted 23/08/2019 at 10:54:19
Not sure that you can now look at the squads and pick a winner. All players are super fit now and, to an extent, the tactics and how well the manager can get individuals to fit into the formation is most important. If we can gel tonight as a team, then we have a chance... but we must not just expect to win.
Geoff Lambert
75 Posted 23/08/2019 at 11:09:06
Too many false dawns to just expect Villa to roll over for us. We need to improve on the Watford performance to get anything at Villa.

I would love to say a 3-0 win for the Blues but I am expecting 0-0 or a win for them.

Conor McCourt
76 Posted 23/08/2019 at 11:16:23
I'm hoping this game may actually suit us. On the previous match day threads, there was a slight disregard for Palace and Watford and a quite generous attitude towards Villa now.

Both those teams are quite physical, well organised, and difficult to break down which is where we often lack quality, creativity and rely on 2 players generally for goals and I expected tough matches.

From my point of view, Villa are the best of the 3 in terms of talent and excitement but they are also a little naive. They don't have a lot of protection for their back four as their midfielders are all better offensively and the defenders themselves aren't the most robust.

I think this game will suit us and, as long as we can stop them from dominating the middle of the park, I'm sure we will expose their deficiencies.

David Pearl
78 Posted 23/08/2019 at 11:31:02

I'm sure it will be a tough game and the home crowd will be up for it but, if you look at our bench tonight, it should include Walcott, Baines, Iwobi, Kean, Davies... Holgate. I wonder who will drop out for Sidibe when he's ready?

I think we are getting there; at this stage of our development, we have to start being ruthless and tonight will tell us a lot. Really looking forward to it.

I agree with Conor, this game should suit us.

Dale Rose
79 Posted 23/08/2019 at 11:32:11
There are no rollover matches these days. This will be a fight but we now have the team for that COYB.
Derek Knox
80 Posted 23/08/2019 at 11:44:12
I suppose the two go together but we are not only missing goals, but that killer instinct. Personally I abhor this protecting a one-goal lead, which can, and has so often in the past, seen us succumb to a last-minute goal from our opponents, and 3 points have 'successfully' been converted to 1!

I believe not getting the substitutes on early enough is one of the biggest culprits for that, but the season is early, here's hoping Marco has learned the all too important lessons from last season.

Francis van Lierop
81 Posted 23/08/2019 at 12:46:33
It is essential that Richarlison, if he plays, does a lot better than last week, to win this one. Let's hope in general that we play better than then. Show to everybody how good we can become.

The reason Man Utd decided against loaning Roja out was that they see us as competition. That's a good start.

Martin Mason
82 Posted 23/08/2019 at 12:48:07
One worry I have is that whoever plays in the front role for us, eg, Sandro, Tosun, Calvert-Lewin, etc, looks hopeless and in similar ways and that possibly indicates that it is the system rather than the players. I have a horrible feeling that Kean will suffer to the same degree.

My feeling is that we just don't have the players to fit into Silva's 4-3-3 preferred system and, until we get them, we will struggle. The RS are so good not because they have great players but because they have players that match Klopp's 4-3-3.

Christy Ring
84 Posted 23/08/2019 at 13:10:10
I hope he starts Gbamin, and the bench at best for Schneiderlin. I also hope the medical team are 100%, and if Digne starts, doesn't have a recurrence of his hamstring injury.
Jamie Evans
85 Posted 23/08/2019 at 13:10:59
Ryan @ 42,

Calvert-Lewin missed a good chance with his head in the first half at Palace. It was from a Bernard cross.

I like the kid, I really do, but I remember laughing at my red mates when I used to ask them what they thought of Dirk Kuyt and their answer always ended with the same phrase: “but he doesn't half work hard”.

I hope I'm wrong about DCL but he will only ever (rightly) be judged by how many goals he scores.

As for tonight, Villa away, live on TV, the chance to go top and break a few records as well... why do I think this is going to end badly? Hmmmm...

I can't see us winning tonight – unfortunately. Gonna be tight like Palace – I think I'll go for a score draw.

Full support. Onward Evertonians.

Mark McParlan
86 Posted 23/08/2019 at 13:24:55
Well obviously the keeper and back 4 pick themselves at the moment.

Gomes plays, he's been fine. Sigurdsson deserves another go. I don't understand the calls for Schneiderlin to replace Gbamin. Gbamin is the future. Morgan is not.

On that same theme, drop Calvert-Lewin and play Moise Kean. What is the point in waiting? Get him on the pitch, now. He's going to get to grips with English football better with the ball between his feet than sat on the bench. Kean is the future, play him.

It's good to see we've now got plenty of competition on the wings. Richarlison will know that a couple more poor performances and Iwobi and Walcott will be fighting for his place in the XI.

I predict a 2-1 win. I don't think Villa are very good at all. They came up through the play-offs, yet it was them who were for some reason more fancied than Norwich or Sheffield United to stay up. They've bought lots of players which always brings up unexpected problems in a team. I think they'll be relegated this season and, for that reason, nothing short of 3 points would be acceptable tonight...

Joe O'Brien
87 Posted 23/08/2019 at 13:43:01
Marko needs to remind himself and the players what happened at Craven Cottage last season. Turn up expecting to win... you could get turned over. Turn up with the attitude of "If we work hard we've got too much for this team and we'll win".

I fully expect it'll be the latter of these two attitudes... and we'll take the 3pts to go top.

Ed Fitzgerald
88 Posted 23/08/2019 at 13:52:09
Martin Mason,

I would agree that playing two up top makes sense but to bracket Calvert-Lewin's performances with that of Tosun and Sandro leaves me speechless.

If you consider when our results started to show a significant upturn last season, it is when Silva decided to play Calvert-Lewin up top rather than Richarlison or Tosun.

I'm not sure what people expect from Calvert-Lewin up top alone. My perspective is that he does all that is asked of him. Play Kean alongside him or, even better, play a three as the RS and Man City do, and I think we will score a bagful of goals.

Martin Anderson
89 Posted 23/08/2019 at 13:59:54
I think get Kean in asap - Calvert-Lewin has had his chance … he can't hit a barn door and doesn't have the killer instinct needed for a striker.

Defence looking great – I always felt Mina would be good for us, and Digne just amazing. I'm in two minds with respect to Schneiderlin – it's like he's just grown up and matured and realised he hasn't much time left to really prove himself. I also quite liked his histrionics for the first booking at Palace – showed real commitment... although it led to his sending-off!

The pace and physicality of the Premier League is what catches all the foreign players out to begin with, so I think take some time with the new midfield lads, Gbamin and Iwobi… give Schneiderlin another chance… I also like Walcott – great player, very committed to Everton and genuine quality... when he decides to use it!

Tom Roberts
90 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:27:03
Going for 3 in a row with my predictions. Unfortunately until EFC start winning consistently away from home, I can only see a draw tonight. 2-2 for me but no idea who will score for us.

Like many have said before me, if we have any aspirations for challenging the top 4 or 6 then we have to start beating the likes of Villa on the road.

Hoping for a great performance for the travelling Blues as Villa Park has so many great memories for us and wouldn't it be nice to put on a show for the TV cameras?

Jay Harris
91 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:32:37
I think Villa will be very nervous at the start and therefore it is essential that Kean starts the game and we have a chance of building some momentum before they calm down.

Silva himself has said he believes it will be an open game so expect our clean sheet record to be under threat tonight.

I am really hoping for a win tonight but this season will be full of surprises with no easy games as the money pouring into the Premier League has enabled all teams to strengthen.

Eric Paul
92 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:17:53
Calvert-Lewin has had his chance, our best player at the end of last season is 4 or 5 years away from his prime and he is being written off, ffs.
Mike Gaynes
93 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:24:43
Jamie #85,

Calvert-Lewin did not "miss" that chance. Replay showed his header deflecting off the head of the adjacent defender. Should actually have been a corner.

Jerome Shields
94 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:25:09
I expect Schneiderlin to start. Silva will want a higher pass completion rate than Gbamin. He'll bring him on later to keep improving. Calvert-Lewin will start, with Kean coming on later. I think Silva will want to give Iowbi a run-out.
Kieran Kinsella
95 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:32:31
I wouldn't play Schneiderlin. I understand the logic for it in terms of his ability but I think he has a screw loose. The thumping the ground thing was just bizarre. We haven't seen anything like that since the days of Anichebe although he was much more dramatic. He was only a few degrees below Marco Materazzi meltdown levels.

Anyway, why? Because he got a soft yellow? Obviously he has some kind of psychological or emotional issues. Therefore, he isn't someone we can trust. He is like a shell-shocked soldier. Whether it's confidence, criticism or something else, he has lost his head.

Dale Rose
96 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:41:33
Jerome #94. Very likely. That should work well.
Robert Workman
97 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:44:36
Tom @90,

Like you, I am 100 percent with predictions so far. I also am leaning towards a draw but, because I have my own competition against Mark Lawrensen who predicted 1-1, I am going for another 1-0 win for the Blues.

Tom Bowers
98 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:52:36
Everton have to be positive if they are to gain respect from teams like Aston Villa. It's no good being negative and thinking only of getting at least a draw from the off and maybe snatching all three points if we get lucky.

So much can go wrong with a negative attitude (getting a red card early, for one) can really scupper the best-laid plans.

I am sure Silva has a strategy but whether or not it is going to turn this club around... we can only wait and see.

They have to be able to see off teams like Villa — otherwise, it's more of the same that we have seen for many seasons past.

Steve Ferns
99 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:52:44
Me too, Robert, I predicted a draw against Palace, and a win against Watford. I have us down for 2-1 tonight, and I think Kean will come off the bench to score a late winner.

By the way, I am terrible at predictions! The last big one I got right was putting us down for the Cup in 1994 after we had just stayed up by the skin of our teeth. It caused much amusement to my kopite friends, especially when we started losing every game at the start of the season. I've not had a feeling like that since, and I don't have one now!

Dave Abrahams
101 Posted 23/08/2019 at 16:09:35
Steve (99), Dixie Dean, in May 1966, said whatever he predicted turned out the opposite, so he predicted Sheffield Wednesday to beat us that Cup Final day knowing he would get it wrong.

On the Wednesday of that week, on the Peter Dimmock football show, Danny Blanchflower came out with “Wednesday for the middle of the week, Everton for the cup.”

Steve Ferns
102 Posted 23/08/2019 at 16:19:57
Dave, that's why I like my mates who used to place a small bet on the Blues to win every week. I used to back the RedShite, in the hope of jinxing them.
Kieran Kinsella
104 Posted 23/08/2019 at 16:32:52
I'll try to defy the jinx then. It will be 6-1 to Villa with a McGinn hattrick, Coleman and Gbama sent off, consolation goal from Tosun.
Steve Carse
105 Posted 23/08/2019 at 16:40:56
We have a decent record at Villa and if we have improved at all over the summer then it should bring 3 points. Of course when we have a chance to make a mark (in this instance go top) we normally fail so I'm not expecting the win.

Splendid stadium Villa Park, my favourite away ground. The Holte End, in particular, is a fantastic end, and was upgraded without losing any of its charm and architectural attraction. Makes you wonder just what would have been possible at Goodison Park if minds had not been closed to the rebuild option so early on...

James Lauwervine
106 Posted 23/08/2019 at 16:44:48
3-0 to us, easy doors. The wife is going out so, with beer in hand, I shall sit on the sofa, watch the game, and listen to the OS commentary.
John Pierce
107 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:08:13
This is absolutely the game Gbamin should start. Couldn't give a fook about his forward passing completion rate. Villa will be open and vulnerable, he will have more room for error and should be able to pierce that back line.
Dropping him for Schniederlin, against Villa would not send the right signal, both to the player and the fanbase. It is too conservative. A point tonight gets us nowhere, Schniederlin is too passive and creates an extra pass we don't need.

Silva needs to show he can win these games, still a problem even with more new players and several already bedded down from last year.

Substitution and game management need to be more decisive and sharper, lets not let it drift. Right chaps off to the City for a bevy or two. Utft!

Mike Gwyer
108 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:35:30

Kieran #95

"The thumping the ground thing was just bizarre."

Of course Schneiderlin should be pissed, Ayew totally conned the ref. Schniederlin had clearly won the ball first before taking the player, he had a solid game against Palace and Silva has a lot of time for him.

Tony Twist
109 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:38:35
Villa will not be vulnerable. They are a competent side and have what it takes to beat us unless we are ruthless in front of goal and take our chances. I think Villa are slight favourites; at the moment, we are not firing on all cylinders. I do hope I am wrong and we go to the top of the table with any sort of win.
Mike Gaynes
110 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:44:45
Mike #108, it was a total overreaction to a meaningless (albeit incorrect) foul call and a pointless, stupid way to get a yellow card. He's supposed to be an experienced professional, not a four-year-old having a tantrum. And when he got the second yellow it cost us a chance to win the game late.

I'm with Kieran and John. Leave him out and play Gbamin.

Colin Glassar
111 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:57:58
A great game to establish our top 6 credentials (we could go top of the league for a few hours) if we win. Lose or draw and it will feel like a huge letdown.
Peter Warren
112 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:10:17
With Schneiderlin people going on about his tantrum, it happens and he was having a good game. The problem is the ref was made up then to send him off - I actually think he wouldn't have given him a second yellow but for his petulant display for the first yellow.

Anyway that's gone now let's get behind the team COYB

Mike Gwyer
113 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:18:12

Mike Gayes.

ok, but thankfully Silva picks team and I'd lay my months pay that Schniederlin plays tonight.

Robert Workman
114 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:20:25
Kieran 104
Gbama? The love child of Michelle Obama and Gbamin?
Steve Ferns
115 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:23:29
Mike, you must have some doubt surely? Did you see the look silva gave Morgan as he trudged off? Silva is not a man to cross if you want to play in his side.
Graeme Beresford
116 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:31:36
Let's be honest this is a typical Everton game. 3rd game of the season, started well, they have started poor. If we want to make a push for the higher places in the league then this could potentially be a game we look back on at the end of the season and go ‘we shouldn't of dropped points there'.

We are either going to go here tonight and play really well for 90 minutes and get the win, or the other option which I think is more likely... they are in front of their home support, Jack Grealish loss list sits there and Everton will turn up for 45 minutes and we will get beat. With, yes, you guessed it getting on the score sheet.

I want it to be scenario 1 but have a horrible feeling it's going to be number 2.

Soren Moyer
117 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:49:47
If we can't win these games then the "project" is no good!
Gerry Ring
118 Posted 23/08/2019 at 21:51:24
Steve #115. Silva has his favourites & plays guys irrespective of form. Look at Walcott!! Waste of space. As for Schneiderlin?? He gets selected because of his salary. We offloaded McCarthy without having back-up. Silva is living up to his form, which is a mediocre manager at best. Not good enough for Everton though!!

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